Production of every day life's space in the realm of informality. Example of rural-urban migrants in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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Contemporary migratory trajectories often link rural and urban (periphery-core) areas and this shift is almost entirely unidirectional. Some scholars describe it as an inevitable shift from rural lifestyle, production and routine to urbanized life of connectivity and clustering since the central location is advantaged in the globalized economy. In South East Asia internal migration highly exceeds its international counterpart and most of it is a movement from smaller administrative units to larger cities. By conducting qualitative research using grounded theory methods in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta, this thesis shows the dynamics of rural-urban transition using Lefebvre’s notion of ‘production of space’ to describe how newcomers construct their new, everyday space using ‘tools of negotiation’ such as language, ethnicity, occupation skills, family ties, etc. Conclusions of this thesis go in line with previous academic findings that newcomers tend to cluster in densely populated neighborhoods which provide access to information, work and mutual help. It also stresses the great importance of informality as a mode of space production, strengthening its resilience and inclusivity. On the other hand, Javanese example shows that rural-urban division itself becomes blurred and imprecise, suggesting core-periphery duality as more salient in explaining socio-economic dynamics of migration.
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